Residents, funeral undertakers and community activists from Chatsworth, south of Durban are furious after a malfunction of a newly installed multi-million-rand furnace at the Mobeni Heights Crematorium in the port city.
This happened just hours after the eThekwini Municipality reopened the facility.
Community activist Visvin Reddy says the first cremation was only partially completed before operations grounded to a halt.
Multiple booked cremations have since been turned away, leaving families to make alternate arrangements at their own cost.
Reddy says the situation is unacceptable.
“The municipality issued a statement to say that the multi–million rand state of the art furnaces, supposedly imported from America, was going to be up and running from yesterday, when this in fact was a lie. It was not true. I can confirm this with the funeral undertakers who were there yesterday, there were three bodies that were supposed to be cremated. The first one has started and mid-way through, the furnace had packed up,” says Reddy.
Meanwhile, municipal deputy manager Musa Gumede says the furnace has been repaired.
In the audio below, Gumede says it will be closely monitored over the next few days: